Valdosta Daily Times

June 9, 2013

All in the Family

Dean Poling
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Paint may well be in their blood.

That and talent.

Before going any further, it may help to name the players and getting their relationships straight.

Think of Esther Arthur as the grandmother then there’s her daughter, D. Arthur McBride. Then, there are McBride’s two sons, Thomas M. Thomson and Ron Thomson, who are, of course, Arthur’s grandsons.

Each is an artist in her and his own right. Each impressive in their specific styles and skill sets.

Together, ahh, together, they have the promise to create a stunning and memorable show.

“All in the Family” will feature approximately 120 works from these related artists, says Bill Shenton, Annette Howell Turner Center for the Arts curator.

To accomodate the number of paintings, the arts center has dedicated two galleries for the “All in the Family” exhibit, opening with other new shows in a public reception Monday evening at the center. The “All in the Family” paintings will be displayed in the Price-Campbell Foundation Gallery and Josette’s Gallery.

The crux of this Valdosta show started with D. Arthur McBride and Thomas Thomson. They are professional artists, working from their home base of Havana, Fla., known for their portraits, but South Georgia viewers should also find their works familiar.

McBride and Thomas Thomson are regular participants in the Turner Center’s annual Spring Into Art show. In 2011, Thomson’s “Ink Well,” a portrait of a young girl, captured Spring Into Art’s best in show prize out of the 464 artworks entered by approximately 240 regional artists that year.

“Seeing the way his mother was glowing after the announcement was made at the opening gala, one would think she had won the award,” Shenton says. “But it was easy to understand a mother’s pride in her son’s accomplishment.”

Their talents and support of one another’s works made them a natural for a combined show.

Enter Ron, also a professional artist, who recently moved from Colorado to Fairhope, Ala. “The close proximity to his family in Havana made it possible for him to join in exhibiting with his family,” Shenton says. With herself and her two sons aboard, McBride asked if her mother, the woman who arguably started this artistic family tradition, could join them in the exhibit. After seeing Esther Arthur’s work, “there was no question that they all had great talent and highly refined techniques.”

While they may all share these talents, their techniques vary widely based on sneak peeks of their works.

Esther Arthur has a vivid style, finding the contrasting interplay of contasting colors as well as light and shadows.

D. Arthur McBride uses muted colors, combining painterly strokes with illustrative details to capture souls beneath oil flesh and vistas.

Thomas M. Thomson paints in an illustrative, nigh-photo-realistic style that captures the life and light of a face, and a subject’s personality as subtly as a well-turned shoulder.

Ron Thomson’s style and subject matter differ most from his family members, at least judging from a few advanced samples of his work. He paints in thick swatches of vibrant color, almost in an impressionist style. He focuses on landscapes, seascapes and still-lifes. Ron Thomson will also host a painting workshop, July 26 and 27 at the arts center; contact the center for more details.

Viewing these works, “All in the Family” seems to have it all.

For additional art, please see page 6C.